An Interview With a Professional Astrologer

Camilla Mischka, Contributing Writer

As the pandemic struck, people have become desperate to hear good news, and one surprising result of this has been that astrology has become especially popular. According to Business Insider, the astrology industry has shown strong growth throughout the years, but reached new heights during COVID-19. It is now worth an estimated $2.2 billion. 

In order to get a better understanding of the appeal of astrology, I met with Jeff Giest, a professional astrologer, and asked him some questions about astrology and his career. 

“When I was 26 years old I had a girlfriend who I was very much in love with,” said Geist, recalling how he first got into astrology. “Either due to my fallibilities or hers, things didn’t work out. She had taken me to a palmist who worked as a security guard at the Manhattan School of Music. My ex-girlfriend would bring all her boyfriends to this guy, so of course she brought me to him. He basically told her to forget about me. So I responded to this by going back and trying to find out where he was coming from and figure out all that I could.” 

From that time on, Geist became well-versed in palmistry and while looking for jobs he came in contact with an astrologer. He worked as a palmist there and then transitioned into astrology. Gesit suggested that we all have “psychic openings” that are more or less closed, and that astrology, palmistry, or tarot(s) all have the power to expand our perspectives. 

Geist states, “Synchronicity is a word that psychoanalysts use.” It means “meaningful coincidences.” Astrology is based on synchronicity, and the idea that reality reflects our inner epiphanies. Geist sees his work as being connected to the psychoanalytic tradition of character analysis. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, was a neurologist that created the theory that the human mind is split into two different parts. One part being the conscious mind, and the other being the unconscious mind. Freud’s interests in astrology developed after a visit one of his patients had to an astrologer. It’s been said by Culture and Cosmos, a journal of the history of astrology and cultural astronomy, that Freud’s main interests revolved around the function and mechanism of astrology. 

Astrology is made up of 12 different zodiac signs. Each of the signs are put into groups based on the four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. Fire signs consist of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Earth signs consist of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Lastly, water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. 

“Now there is this huge trend among astrologers, and it’s starting to take over,” said Geist, “where most of them are posting things saying the zodiacal signs don’t mean anything. This is because of the fact there are multiple different kinds of zodiacs, also known as astrology signs, and they differ from one another. For example, tropical astrology, which is also known as western astrology, relates more to the seasonal zodiac compared to the constellational zodiac.  

He added, “there’s a split within astrologers,” largely because “The astrology most people use is generally the tropical zodiac” but sidereal astrology, which uses the constellational zodiac, also works according to him. This leaves people confused on which one is actually correct. 

When describing the power of astrology, Geist added, “There’s kind of a humanistic approach to astrology where the signs are more important in trying to figure out who a person is on an emotional intellectual basis. [Astrological] planets are more concerned with events [rather than character].” 

Geist said the astrological sign of one’s ascendant, which is one’s rising sign, is the “cover of the soul,” meaning it represents how one portrays themselves to those they have never met. When we first get to know another person, they give off a front, and that front will contain a lot of qualities of their rising sign, their ascendant sign.

To end our conversation Geist shared a fascinating story that he experienced, one that suggested the way the universe works: “One time I was in Northwest Canada and I got within 30 ft of a wolf. I love wolves, but I have never actually seen one. It just kind of played with me for basically 10 minutes. It was the most magical thing that has ever happened to me in my life. Then when I left that spot a red fox ran in front of the car. It was just unbelievable.”